Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Solutions: Time For A New Bag
An old camera bag can create pictures spotted with dust. Is it time to clean or replace yours?
If you've noticed that you're spending a lot more time cleaning your lenses, cameras and filters, and your photographs need more and more retouching due to dust on the sensor or lens, the problem just might be your camera bag. Even the best-designed and best-built camera bags don't last forever, and the canary in the coal mine that tells you it's time for a replacement is lint.
As you dust everything, look to see if there seems to be an inordinate amount of fine dust or fine lint. If there is, the materials in your bag might be starting to deteriorate. As durable as a good camera bag is, the fabrics are still subject to breakdown from UV light, and a number of atmospheric contaminants. You should never store your camera bag, or any photo gear for that matter, in your garage where car exhaust, fuel fumes and a thousand other household chemicals are in high concentrations in the air. These chemicals will eventually start to break down your bag's fabric. The resulting dust can be confounding to clean. Many nature photographers take care to change lenses by holding the DSLR and lens in the camera bag to keep it away from dirt swirling in the wind. If your camera bag is past its prime, taking this extra care will do much more harm than good.
So how do you know it's time for a change? When you do the annual cleaning, look carefully. Are there bare spots in some of the internal fabric? Is there a fine coating of dust on everything? Does the padding feel like it has lost its spring? Any of these is a red flag indicating it's time to upgrade.
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